The largest exhibition for the Asian semiconductor industry was held starting Dec. 3 at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center.

The three-day show was previously held in Makuhari Messe. The Japanese semiconductor industry remains stuck in a long recession. For this reason, I was expecting some new trends; unfortunately, I was disappointed.

With most major trade shows and events, there are crowds of people walking from the train and bus stations to the convention center, but there were no crowds. I wondered whether I had the wrong place or wrong date. I was expecting long lines of visitors registering for the show and I was surprised to see no lines. I did not have to wait to register.

My disappointment started immediately when I entered the exhibition hall. The size of the show shrunk considerably compared to previous years. Only five halls of the Eastern Pavilion were occupied with about 600 companies. Even though the space was cut in half, there were still vacant spaces on the floor, and organizers widened the aisles to use up some space. Applied Material and Tokyo Electron, two giants in the industry, had relatively large booths, but their booths had only tables and chairs – no new product displays or other technologies to show off. Intel, IBM and Sharp reserved smaller booths. These companies were promoting IoT (Internet of Things). Unfortunately, I could not understand what their presentations were about.

Companies affiliated with assembling & packaging reserved remarkable parts of the space in previous years; however, this year there weren’t many companies representing this category. There were a couple of equipment suppliers and other companies from Korea and Japan. However, I did not see any packaging firms or material suppliers. I may have walked right by them because many exhibitors decreased the size of their booths in a cost-saving exercise.

There were not many technical seminars this year and most of the ones were free to attend. The topics did not seem that interesting, and not many people attended them.

In the past, there were many visitors from Korea and Taiwan that gathered information about any leading edge technologies from Japanese and American companies. Now that Korea and Taiwan are the major semiconductor producers in the world, they are the ones that others try to gather information from.
This show was similar as CEATEC Japan 2014 held in early October. Japanese electronics companies continue to lose market share in the consumer electronics market. Nowadays, there is no volume production in Japan. Electronics giants such as Panasonic and Sony are now very conservative and a lot of their efforts are aimed at financial problems. They are no longer leaders in the global electronics industry, and their booths were a reflection of this.

My concern with the industry is a lack of passion from Japanese electronics companies. Most of the representatives from these companies seemed to be going through the motions with no energy at all. There wasn’t even a rallying speech from any organizations that promoted the show. The semiconductor and consumer electronics markets could disappear from Japan over the next few years if these manufacturers continue to approach each day without drive, determination and passion.

Dominique K. Numakura, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
DKN Research, www.dknresearchllc.com

DKN Research Newsletter #1436, Dec. 14, 2014 (English Edition)
(Micro Electronics & Packaging, www.dknresearchllc.com)


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Headlines of the Week (Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.)

1. Yaskawa Electric opened the Robot Center in Indonesia for the local technical service in southern eastern Asian countries.

2. Murata commercialized a new SMT type LC hybrid EMI filter “BNX Series” for automobile, industrial and medical applications.

3. Hitachi Metals developed a soft ferrite core material for automobile devices. The new material has stable properties up to 130C.

4. Fujitsu started the foundry business of semiconductor devices at its subsidiary companies in Mie and Aizuwakamatsu.

5. JSR will invest 4 billion yen to found a new manufacturing subsidiary in China for special materials of LCD panels.

6. Toyota Tsusho started volume mining of lithium carbonate at Salar de Oraloz, Algentina with an annual volume of 17,500 tons.

7. Dai Nippon Printing started volume production of Biomatic B-PET film for general packaging including paper cups.

8. Tohoku University developed a new productive electrode for hydrogen generator without rare earth metals introducing porous graphene.

9. Chi Mei decided to postpone the manufacturing of polarization sheets of the LCD panels in China by half a year.

10. Hitachi Chemical has developed a UV-curable ACF (anisotropic conductive film) for connecting FPD panels capable for 400 sq. micrometer pads with five micron gap.

11. Sony has developed a 0.23” size OLED panel with 640 x 400 pixels for wearable display devices.

12. Ricoh unveiled a gel jet printer “RICOH SG 3100KE” with a hybrid technology of inkjet and laser printing.

13. Pioneer shipped the world's smallest and lightest laser blood flood meter for use in a touch medical sensor.

14. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) 12/18
Has started the business of large scale data archive “LB-DH8 Series”. The system has 638.4TB capacity in one unit with 216 MB/s data transfer speed.

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